Harris County announces evening testing hours, faster turnaround on COVID-19 tests

With some Harris County residents waiting up to two weeks to get test results, the county has announced a maximum turnaround time of 3-5 days on county-sponsored tests moving forward. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
With some Harris County residents waiting up to two weeks to get test results, the county has announced a maximum turnaround time of 3-5 days on county-sponsored tests moving forward. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

With some Harris County residents waiting up to two weeks to get test results, the county has announced a maximum turnaround time of 3-5 days on county-sponsored tests moving forward. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced a federal partnership launching Aug. 6 that will cut down the turnaround time on COVID-19 tests administered at the county's two stationary testing sites to 3-5 days.

Many of the tests being provided by the federal government for use in Harris County were previously taking as long as two weeks before individuals got their results, Hidalgo said at an Aug. 4 press conference.

Hidalgo said the faster turnaround times will help individuals getting tested as well as public health officials who use contact tracing to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

"The testing turnaround times are key for everyone," she said. "If it takes us a week or two weeks to get the results, by then, it's almost pointless. You’ve already had many, many contacts for that one person that has the virus."

The two testing sites where the new tests will be available are San Jacinto College Central Campus, 8060 Spencer Hwy., Pasadena, and Pridgeon Stadium, 11355 Falcon Road, Houston. They will be available starting Aug. 6, and residents can begin signing up for testing appointments on Aug. 5.


The county is receiving 30,000 tests through the partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Texas Department of State Health Services. Hidalgo said the county uses around 1,000-1,500 tests per day, so the tests will likely last for several weeks.

However, Hidalgo said the county has also identified labs that can turn tests around faster and plans to begin using those labs once the federal tests run out.

"We’ve been scouring the country for [labs] for the past few weeks, so even when we run out of these 30,000 tests, we’ll be able to continue the testing with this faster turnaround time," she said.

The county will also begin offering tests during evening hours on certain days in an effort to reach individuals who are not able to get tested during daytime hours. Testing will be available at the San Jacinto and Pridgeon Stadium sites between 4-8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting Aug. 6, Hidalgo said.

Individuals can sign up for testing online or by calling 832-925-7575.
By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.


MOST RECENT

Fewer than 500 COVID-19 patients—478—are currently checked in at Texas Medical Center hospitals. (Community Impact staff)
Texas Medical Center COVID-19 hospitalizations drop 30% in three weeks

Fewer than 500 COVID-19 patients—478—are currently checked in at Texas Medical Center hospitals.

The board of directors for METRO has approved the $1.15 billion FY 2020-21 budget. (Courtesy Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County)
METRO board approves $1.15 billion budget for FY 2020-21 with 23% revenue loss

The approved budget is down nearly 14% overall from last year.

Nekter Juice Bar is coming soon to the Boardwalk at Towne Lake. (Courtesy Nekter Juice Bar)
Nekter Juice Bar coming soon to Cypress

The business offers fresh juices, smoothies, acai bowls, cleanses and catering.

The city of Jersey Village is looking to adopt a lower property tax rate, but one that will also raise more revenue because of rising property values. (Community Impact staff)
Jersey Village adopts budget, sets tax rate public hearing for Sept. 28

The city of Jersey Village is looking to adopt a lower property tax rate for the 2020-21 fiscal year, but one that will also raise more revenue because of rising property values.

The Howard Hughes Corp. purchased The Woodlands Towers at The Waterway in December while Paul Layne was CEO. (Courtesy The Howard Hughes Corp.)
Howard Hughes Corp. CEO Paul Layne retires after year that saw company move HQ to The Woodlands, purchase of former Occidental towers

The CEO for The Howard Hughes Corp., which develops The Woodlands, The Woodlands Hills and Bridgeland in the Greater Houston area, announced this retirement this month.

Gov. Greg Abbott on July 27 issued an executive order extending the early voting period for the Nov. 3 election. (Screenshot of Sept. 17 press conference)
Lawsuit takes aim at start date for early voting as some Texas Republicans challenge Gov. Greg Abbott's order

A group of prominent Texas Republicans has embarked on a legal effort to undo the governor's executive order that extended the early voting period for the Nov. 3 election.

(Courtesy The Republic Grille/Liz Grimm Public Relations)
Republic Grille opens in Spring and more Houston-area news

Read the latest Houston-area business and community news here.

Juanita's Mexican Restaurant is located on Louetta Road. (Courtesy Juanita's Mexican Restaurant)
Juanita’s Mexican Kitchen to open soon in Fairfield

The new eatery is owned by the Nunez family, which also operates Juanita’s Mexican Restaurant on Louetta Road.

Texas Central
Texas Central Railroad bullet train project receives rulings on safety framework, selected alignment

Construction for the high-speed bullet train system is slated to begin in the first half of 2021 and to be completed in 2027.

Jersey Village City Council members debated a proposed Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone at a Sept. 21 virtual meeting. (Screenshot courtesy Zoom)
Jersey Village considers tax zone as new tool to address flooding

The concept could help advance "teardown-rebuild" efforts on Jersey Drive.